When I’m hired by the video production team, my contact throughout the planning period and the shoot itself will usually be the Production Manager. The client will brief me directly on the photographs they want-usually on the day when their mind is focussed on the shoot. Of course there are always more spontaneous, unplanned requested, which I am happy to capture.
What do you need to know before the shoot?
The production team will send me the call sheet a few day before a shoot. It will include all of the important information, where to collect my accreditation, mobile phone numbers, timings, what to wear and lots more.
What preparation do you do?
If time permits, a recce is always useful to get familiar with a location in the days before the event but if that’s not possible, I will always arrive at least an hour early so I can work out what lighting and lenses will work best. It also gives me an opportunity to plan some creative ideas which will add additional visual content to the final set of images. The day before the shoot, I make sure I have plenty of memory cards packed, my batteries are charged, and my camera kit is in top condition.
Tell us what you do after the shoot. Kick back and relax…?!
Not at all! Every photographer’s worst nightmare is losing images so everything possible is done to prevent this from the get-go. I shoot with dual card slots which means all images are saved on two cards in any case, they are stored in two separate places until I get to my office. Once there, I backed the images up on two external hard drives. I’ll then edit the content and deliver it before the client’s deadline. Delivery is via a password-protected online gallery which acts as a third back-up. I also use Backblaze which backs the hard drives to a secure cloud storage system.
You must have some fantastic kit.
My kit comprises of at least two Canon 5d Mark III camera bodies, 4 L-series lenses, 3 Canon speedlights, as well as additional accessories that may be required. I will usually wear something smart, comfortable that is in keeping with the type of shoot.
You sound like you are completely committed to the shoot, what do you like the most about the whole experience?
I love the energy and fast pace of photographing events. No two jobs are the same, so the variety means it is never boring and there is so much scope for creativity. Also, there is usually a fun team of people to work alongside so even when the days are very long, we all keep each other going!
Anonymous idiot’s question-the (video) camera is already capturing the action, so why the need for photos?
You’re trying to catch me out! Video is always a great way to capture the action, but the job of the stills photographer is often to tell the story of an event in a single or series of images. These images are used in different ways by the client, to showcase their brand on their website, social media, internal comms and their marketing material. The two mediums work really well together to give a complete picture of the day.
Thanks Siobhan-see you on site soon!